UTAH COUNTY, May 17, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Charges will be filed within the next few days against a former forensic technician believed to be responsible for the disappearance of prescription medications, a sheriff’s statement says.
To be charged in the case is Brian William Smith, 38, of Lehi. Smith resigned his position with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office effective Feb. 28, six days after the medications were discovered missing.
“On February 22, 2019, an employee with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Unit discovered some drugs were missing from the drug disposal barrel and reported this information to the Evidence Supervisor,” the UCSO statement says.
“After viewing surveillance video these employees learned that the drugs were taken by another employee, a forensic technician.”
An internal investigation was conducted by the UCSO, and a criminal investigation was initiated by the Spanish Fork Police Department.
“Spanish Fork Police referred the case to the Utah County Attorney’s Office and criminal charges will be filed within the next few days,” the statement says.
Following Smith’s resignation, a full audit of evidence was conducted, and 17 cases were identified in which Smith accessed evidence scheduled for destruction without following proper procedures.
“Evidence in all 17 cases included prescription medications,” the sheriff’s statement says, adding that evidence-processing procedures have been implemented “to mitigate the risk of this kind of thing happening again. Those actions include installing additional surveillance cameras to provide broader coverage in the Utah County Sheriff’s Office evidence facility.”
The Utah County Sheriff’s evidence facility stores more than 34,000 pieces of property related to cases, the UCSO statement says.
Similar case in Weber County
The Weber County Sheriff’s Office dealt with a similar case in 2017 when an evidence technician was discovered to be high on drugs while on the job.
Candice Barbara Follum, 48, ultimately was charged with 40 crimes related to changing records and taking meth from evidence, which she confessed to consuming.
As part of a plea deal, she pleaded guilty to all counts, and sentenced to 40 years in prison, suspended if she served one year in jail and successfully completed three years of probation.